Medical Malpractice: The Mythical Solution of Tort Reform

Tort Reform is back in the news. The Republicans in Congress insist that Tort Reform in the medical malpractice field is an essential part of any reform of our health care system. Tort Reform sounds like a great idea, doesn't it! Reform is always good because it means something must be wrong. Something needs fixing. And fixing it will make it better. What sounds good must be good, right?

In truth, Tort Reform is a myth cooked up to take away individual rights. Long ago, the powerful corporate interests and their conservative allies learned that claiming the judicial system is broken and needs fixing, while false, pays large dividends. Corporate America is terrified of the jury system because only there can it be held fully…

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"I Just Found Out I Had Cancer Five Years Ago, But My Doctor Never Told Me! Can I Sue?"

The Statute of Limitations in Medical Misdiagnosis

Author: Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell 

If you have cancer that has been allowed to spread and threaten your life because of medical negligence, the answer is "yes." But it may shock you to learn that, only a few years ago, the answer was "no." Until recently, your right to sue could expire before you even knew you had a case! How could something so unfair be the law in Virginia?

All claims for personal injury in Virginia, including medical malpractice cases, are subject to time limits. 1 Although each case can be different, the general time limit for filing an injury lawsuit in Virginia is two years after the…

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Health Care Debate: Patients Rights to Seek Legal Recourse for Medical Negligence

Every year tens of thousands of people die due to preventable medical errors. The following web site emphasizes the importance of patients' rights to seek legal recourse. As trial attorneys, the lawyers of Allen & Allen have seen first hand how preventable medical errors have effected patients and their families. Learn more about the role of medical negligence in the civil justice system and current health care debate.


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Sovereign Immunity for State Doctors: When it is Good to be the King's Doctor


Sovereign immunity is the legal principle that the government (and its branches, departments, agencies and employees) cannot be sued or held legally responsible for their actions. This legal principle comes from the old English law that held the king was divinely chosen and therefore could do no wrong. As a result, the king could not be held accountable for his actions nor could his representatives. When the United States was founded, this principle of British law was adopted. Since early colonial times, however, the courts and congress have limited the original broad scope of this immunity, as have the individual states. However, except where limited by judicial decision or by law, the principle of sovereign immunity remains…

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How About Stopping Medical Malpractice?

Recent commentary in the local papers has contained several worthwhile suggestions to reduce health care costs. But some have also included the customary bash at medical malpractice victims and their lawyers, and claim the way to reduce health care costs is to put a cap on the damages injured victims can recover.

According to the Institute of Medicine, 98,000 people are killed annually by preventable medical errors. (1) In sheer numbers, if it were listed as its own category for causes of death, it would be the sixth largest cause of death in the United States. More people die in a given year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516).…

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Medical Malpractice Reform Debate

Author: Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell, III

Sarah Moss (1) was a four year old girl who had one of her kidneys removed and her ureter (2) attached to that kidney was re-attached to the remaining kidney. Unfortunately, while still at the hospital, she began leaking urine into her abdomen from the ureter re-attachment. Her belly swelled with fluid, making it difficult for her to breathe. Electrolytes which should have been excreted with her urine were being reabsorbed into her blood through her abdominal wall, destroying the delicate chemical balances in her blood. Despite several calls to the surgical team from Sarah's nurse, Sarah was allowed to deteriorate for approximately…

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Health Care Debate: True Risk - The Americans for Insurance Reform Study

Author: Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell

For years, some doctors and insurance companies have been telling us and our government that unless frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are curtailed, and unless out-of-control verdicts are limited, doctors will be driven out of practice by high malpractice insurance premiums. Their efforts have been very successful in Virginia, where doctors enjoy the privileges of a special class, exempting them from being held responsible for the consequences of their negligence.

Throughout this conflict, your attorneys at The Allen Law Firm have worked hard to correctly inform the public and to continue to champion the old-fashioned value of personal responsibility for everyone, including…

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The Nation's Health Care Debate: Medical Negligence - The AAJ Reports

Introduction by Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell

American Health Care, like American Justice, should be the envy of the world. We can attain this goal, but only if we base our decisions and our policies on facts. We must also be guided by traditional American values, to seek the best possible medical care for the greatest number of people, while zealously protecting the legal rights of all citizens, especially those who are innocent victims of wrongdoing. Some politicians want to limit the compensation of medical malpractice victims, wrongfully claiming that further injuring and victimizing innocents will improve health care for all of us and reduce costs. The attached Primer on Medical Negligence will give…

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Damages Cap Now on Tap - A VA Lawyers Weekly Article

Article Summary by Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell

In Virginia, there is no justice for catastrophically injured victims of medical malpractice. Since 1976, their inalienable rights as American citizens to trial by jury and to equal justice under the law have been stripped from them for no better reason than to keep insurance companies profitable. Meanwhile, insurance companies charge higher and higher premiums to doctors, blaming victims' lawyers and American citizens who sit on juries, hear evidence, and make careful decisions.

Virginia's "cap" on the amount of money a victim of medical malpractice can recover in a lawsuit guarantees that the most horribly injured victims will never be able to pay their bills.…

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Why I Became a Trial Attorney

By Malcolm "Mic" McConnell I am a Richmond, Virginia native. I am a product of Henrico County Public Schools, having attended Skipwith Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle, and graduating from J. R. Tucker High. My father taught handicapped children for Henrico County Schools and supervised the County's programs for those students.  My mother was a surgical nurse. I grew up attending and serving as a youth leader of Monument Heights Baptist Church (corner of Monument and Libbie Avenues), which my grandfather, a Baptist minister, founded in 1950.

How did the son of a teacher and a nurse and the grandson of a preacher become a medical malpractice trial lawyer? It all seems quite natural to me, especially when you add the endless…

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